BBC PERSIAN, AL JAZEERA (Qatar)
TEHRAN - Iranian riot police clashed with demonstrators and foreign exchange dealers in Tehran on Wednesday, over the plunge in the value of the country's currency.
The Iranian rial lost a third of its value against the dollar in a week.
Protests erupted after the arrest of illegal currency dealers by hundreds of police in anti-riot gear who stormed Tehran’s currency exchange district of Ferdowsi, Al Jazeera reports. Police reportedly fired tear gas to disperse the demonstrators, in what seems to be the first sign of public discontent over Iran’s plunging currency.
The capital’s historic Grand Bazaar, one of Tehran’s major shopping areas, was also hit by protests and consequently shut, BBC Persian reveals.
The violence comes a day after President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad asked Iranians in a TV press conference not to sell their rials for other currencies – blaming the currency’s record low on speculators.